Ralph Edgar Peters, Former PHIA President

December 28, 2015

0002353536-01-1_20151227We are saddened to note the death of former PHIA President Ralph Peters.

Ralph was a leader in every aspect of the word and served a wide range of community organizations that provide basic human needs, employment, health care and education. He served as PHIA President from 1986 to 1993. He received PHIA’s Transportation Advocate of the Year Award in 1995.

Ralph joined the architectural and engineering firm of Louis Berger Inc. in the early 1950s as the business manager. In this position, he traveled the world, organizing offices for the company in Madrid, Hong Kong, Nigeria and in many other countries around the globe. In the 1970s he became president and CEO of Harrisburg-based Benatec Associates, a firm of architects, engineers and planners with branch offices in other states.

Visitation will be held at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1610 Carlisle Road, Highland Park, from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, January 2, followed by a celebration of Ralph’s life at 2 p.m. Fellowship will follow at the church. Inurnment will be private. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Parthemore Funeral Home, New Cumberland.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1610 Carlisle Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011, or to the United Way of the Capital Region.



PennDOT Partners With Waze

December 22, 2015

WazeGovernor Tom Wolf announced a partnership between PennDOT and user-crowd-sourcing traffic app, Waze.

The app shows users a map of their route along with updates from other users. Users are able to report accidents and road conditions. The partnership with PennDOT will allow PennDOT to share its information with Waze and improve the quantity and quality of information available to users.

“As travelers rely more and more on their smartphones for real-time traffic data, this new partnership represents yet another way PennDOT is modernizing to keep up with the demands of its customers,” Governor Wolf said in his announcement.

The app is already very popular in the state and Waze reports that Philadelphia has more than 417,000 active users per month and Pittsburgh has more than 80,000 active users per month.

“PennDOT is always looking for ways to make it easier and safer to travel on our roadways,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said.

“PHIA applauds every effort to make our roads safer and to help people manage traffic congestion,” PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner said. “This will be especially helpful as many Pennsylvanians prepare to travel throughout the holidays.”



PHIA News Digest – Vol. 54

December 14, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Federal highway bill includes dollars for Erie-area bridges
Congress has approved a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill to improve major highway systems and help municipalities and counties replace or repair local bridges.

The bill earned bipartisan support in both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Fixing bridges proves a ‘good deal’ for Pennsylvania
Gov. Tom Wolf may be having trouble bridging the budget gap between Democrats and Republicans, but his administration has drawn praise for its efforts to mend the state’s aging bridges via innovative financing.

The Bond Buyer, a New York-based trade publication that covers the municipal bond market, named the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority’s $721.5 million Rapid Bridge Replacement Project its “Deal of the Year” for the Northeast region.

PennDOT website to track salt trucks and snowplows
After limited testing last winter, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will roll out a program that Pittsburgh says it used successfully last year: a website to allow motorists to see where salt trucks and snowplows have treated roads.

PennDOT has installed an Automated Vehicle Location system on 516 dump trucks and 212 contracted rental trucks that take care of interstate highways and expressways. That will include 58 state vehicles and six rentals in PennDOT’s District 11, which includes Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties. Read more


PHIA News Digest – Vol. 53

December 7, 2015

PDSITELOGO2Pennsylvania lawmakers advance bridge commission, authority reforms
Multiple efforts moving through the Pennsylvania statehouse would reform and provide more legislative oversight of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and Delaware River Port Authority.

The DRJTBC maintains and operates seven toll bridges and 13 free bridges connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The agency is made up of 10 commissioners with five from each state.

Pennsylvania’s P3 Board endorses bridge, transit improvements
Supported by Gov. Tom Wolf, the state’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board recently authorized a project aimed at improving county-owned bridges throughout the commonwealth and bolstering Middletown transit development in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Federal bill includes funds to fix Pennsylvania bridges
The new federal transportation bill, known as the FAST Act, includes nearly $370 million over five years to help counties and municipalities repair or replace bridges.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., pushed for the additional funds for bridges that are not part of the federal highway system. About $73 million a year was authorized for Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2014 and had to be approved annually. Read more


PennDOT lets $264 Million in November

November 30, 2015

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT continued its strong, post-Act 89 momentum by letting just over $264 million in projects during November, bringing the year-to-date total to just over $2.5 billion. Last year, PennDOT ended the year with $2.6 billion in lettings, the highest since 2009 when the program was boosted by the one-time economic stimulus package. PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be close to $2.6 billion.

PennDOT recently reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) that 2016 lettings are expected to be $2.4 billion.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full November letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

November Letting Report* (PDF)


*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.